The NEW Body Politic: How Knowledge of Our Bodies Can Affect the Wisdom of Our Policies
The metaphor of body politic works in both directions. The corporal body is thought to mimic those interactions of the social collective; the behaviors of the social collective are seen to form an entity whose structures mirror the physical organism. As scientists gain new knowledge of the body, these metaphors change. The realization that the body was composed of living cellular units, the discovery of the nervous system, and the discovery of the immune system, for instance, reorganized thinking about the body. Recent discoveries that our bodies are multilineage organisms whose microbial components are normal and essential for body development maintenance may be causing another alteration in how we view our bodies, nature, and societies.